AbiWord Weekly News #170, (2003, week 46, released 2003.11.16)

Welcome to this issue 170 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      SCO's contract must say you can't tell anyone we have application x, or, no one wants SCO Linux.   I do wonder which is more likely...oh, wait, it could be both!

This week in development

      TextBoxes get richer, BeOS finally sees some action and preparations for 2.1.0   Some technical notes on how Abi renders a document, bugs on the rise, more news on Abi's Relatives OTS, libWPD, gnumeric and conglomerate.   Also, lots of hinting for 2.1.0!

Request for User Assistance

      Hi there.   We're looking for people who can help keep AbiWord accurate and uptodate in a number of languages.   Please look over them and see if ither you or someone you know might be able to assist us.   Remember, your contribution is not only welcomed or encouraged but is also documented, for an easier-to-brag experience.   The languages we are looking for are listed below:

  • Afrikaans[af-ZA]
  • Armenian[hy-AM]
  • Assamese[as-IN]
  • Chinese (Singapore)[zh-SG]
  • Cornish[kw-GB]
  • Corsican[co-FR]
  • Croatian[hr]
  • Esperanto[eo]
  • Estonian[et]
  • Farsi[fa-IR]
  • Flemish (Belgium)[nl-BE]
  • Frisian[fy-NL]
  • Georgian[ka-GE]
  • Hausa (Niger)[ha-NE]
  • Hausa (Nigeria)[ha-NG]
  • Hindi[hi-IN]
  • Icelandic[is-IS]
  • Korean[ko-KR]
  • Macedonian[mk]
  • Marshallese (Nauru)[mh-NR]
  • Occitan[oc-FR]
  • Thai[th-TH]
  • Urdu[ur-PK]

      Due to the traffick of people who are trying to help with picked up languages, those who are interested in helping us are encouraged to join ither mailing list.   Please read the instructions for the list you are most interested in joining to get the correct address.   Joining, as you'll find out, is a simple three step process.   First, send a letter to one email address; second confirm you sent the letter by sending a reply, and third...oops, there is no step three.   Ok, so, excluding all the minor steps of what to click and/or type, it's really a simple two-step process.

      There are just two important reminders in using the mailing lists which all users are expected to do.   If you want your message to even make it to the list, you message will need to be in plain text only.   Due to an insurgence of a certain virus a while back, all HTML email is rejected for reasons of sanity.   Webmail users will have to figure out how to turn on plain-text only before sending email.   Second, you are required to send the language in Engrish or English.   For those of you who don't speak English well enough to send Engrish, it is recommended that you send the letter in both your native language (identify your language please) and after that, in the same message, send it in a machine-translated version of your message, like BabelFish, in case no-one who speaks your language is available to translate your message for the list.   Failure to follow these proceedures in the past have led to frustration and resentment.   We apologise in advance for any inconvenience these two requests may cause you.

Silliness of the Week

      And now, a word from our sponsors, in fact, several words:

  • Support a GNOME Office Bug Day; help us make it better for you!
  • Vote for Jody!  Could you really ask for anyone better?
  • GNU Software: If you haven't used it, it's G'NU to you.
  • My Tuchis, it's the source of all weather predictions, lotto numbers and psychic predictions.
  • We're all about standards, we're IEEE.
  • Microsoft, where do you want to go today?  Psyche!  Like we care.
  • Sigrid's Bavarian Trail, located on beautiful Loon Lake, in Shawano County, Wisconsin.
      Needless to say, I have not been given any money by said sponsors, but I like them very much.   To save Hub some time, so he can get straight to the headache, this risks breaking only 1 international law, 2 community laws and offends 487 people.

This Issue

      And remember, I give you an email address so you can talk to me, in case you're not on either mailing list.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue:  E. A. Zen

      If you're interested in using AbiWord for the first time, receiving a more up-to-date version, any particular version or special release, feel free to visit the new  Latest Releases page.

DISCLAIMER:   It should be generally noted that anything said before the "In this issue:" line is purely editorial.   Actually, everything I say is purely editorial.   You kind of get used to it.


Traffic on the  developer mailing list has settled at about 200-400 postings per week.   This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. commit: Top Ruler and Left Ruler now work with Frames. ,
    commit: Speed up dragging of Frames. ,
    commit: Fix clear selection bug. and
    commit: Enable tables in Frames, some top ruler fixes. :
    →   More news on our features front.   For our TextBox or Frames lovers, you'll note improved functionality with the rulers tracking events within them.   If you love the idea of speeding up the draggability of TextBoxes, you'll love this fast work around: when being moved about, the TextBox will be changed into an image -- thus saving on re-re-re-re-rendering of text as it moves.   Pleasingly enough, clear selection issues have finally been removed, fixing several major flickering events.   And finally, you can now place tables within a frame, but don't expect the rulers to behave just yet.
    §   The flickering was so bad, I heard rumours of users having seizures!

  2. gtk 2.3 :
    →   Random user, Mike, wants to know if anyone has succeeded in building AbiWord 2.0.x against gtk2.3.   Other random user, BAM, explains that success depends on removing the DISABLE_DEPRECATED defines from the makefiles.   BAM also points to this poignant article, which is on GNOME's desktop development mailing list.
    §   Though this would have been better served on the user list, it's still very nice to see users helping users.

  3. commit (HEAD): document iterator (pd_Iterator.h/cpp) ,
    commit (HEAD): more doc iterator work ,
    commit (HEAD): more doc iterator work ,
    commit (HEAD): removal of getSpanPtr functions :
    →   Tomas creates a generic flexible iterator API that can be used to replace getSpanPtr().
    §   I have no idea what that is, mind you, but it seemed to warrant a listing.

  4. Parallel Installable AbiWord-2.2 ,
    commit: abi: two build fixes and
    parallel install with rpm (or maybe not) :
    →   Martin's anticipating releasing the first 2.2 development series, so, what's he thinking about?   Making it possible to have both 2.0.x and 2.1.x on the same system.   Frank takes the time to catch most of the requirements in one glorious sweep, as mentioned in “commit: abi, abiword-plugins & abidistfiles: (Re: Parallel Installable AbiWord-2.2).”   Even a fix or two later, Rui still had trouble building the rpms due to conflicts.
    §   Just think, 1.0.7, 1.99.6, 2.0.4 and 2.1.0 all on the same system!

  5. RH 8.0 AbiWord still frustrated over libfribidi0 and
    The AbiWord/libfribidi0 issue :
    →   Just to cover two points about AbiWord and it's dependencies, including FriBiDi, I'm combining what is really one discussion with two different points of view.   When AbiWord depends on a library not distributed on a specific Red Hat version, it will depend on the official release from its developers.   This leaves you with either taking the source (rpm) and going with --nodeps or locating the original, true, official source for that package.   In the case of LibFriBiDi, that means going here.
    §   I'd like to take the time to quote Marc from the former thread, “We can't 'support' the 1000 rpms people build in their kitchen sink.”   Now, as to why NetBSD users are building rpms ellude me, but I concur with Marc completely.

  6. Translation ,
    Valencian Language ,
    Valencian language ,
    Valencian version and
    Valencian supporter by UE's European Charter of Minority Languages :
    →   In Nineteen Eighty-Four, we learn the political value of languages.   Politics and software got together in 1984 with the creation of the Free Software Foundation.   Eventually, Free Software and Political Languages were destined to meet.   As a general rule, AbiWord has used ISO 636-1 (two letter codes), ISO 636-2 (three letter codes), and ISO 3166 (country codes) for creating its translations in both strings and po files.   Andrew warned many times that this would eventually manifest into some nasty issue, whether it was due to dialects or scripts, and now, prophecy has come to pass.   Dom has come to a working solution, using RFC 3066's “extras,” Valencian will now be recognised as ca-x-val_ES.
    §   This reeked of politics back with “Translation,” but I don't think anyone saw it coming to a big issue like this.   Jaime Vicente Hurtado Perea seemed intent on justifying Valencian from the beginning, and Jordi seemed like he was giving a bit of a run around to it at that time.   Spain strikes me as a very scary place.

  7. [Fwd: rendering API] :
    →   If you want to know how Abi draws a document on a screen, Daniel has forwarded a description of the current technique to the list from Tomas.   You can learn what happens within each of the relating processes, as well as the problems that manifest from the current design.
    §   Who knew that Unicode compliance can be an issue in WYSIWYG?

  8. beos patch ,
    beos patch2 and
    Commit (HEAD): BeOS patches :
    →   Daniel Furrer steps forward to be the first to commit some actual code to BeOS.   It still doesn't yet, but it might in time for the new developers' build!
    §   I swear, if something didn't come in soon, I was going to declare it dead, and lord knows what I would have said about all those previously anxious would-have-been-but-didn't-do-anything developers.   I'm sure Daniel would love some help.

  9. Paypal and other banking fees jumped from ~ $115 to $797 :
    →   Due to an error on the part of arcane software, I have misreported the cost of banking fees.   Thanks to Randy thinking that Paypal was milking us to death, I'm now aware of this issue, and Dom has sent me updated Open Books to update our Open Books.
    §   Maybe I should make errors intentionally...it encourages sharing ;o)

  10. Abiword translation in pure Windows env. :
    →   Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan is looking for help from people who have translated AbiWord using Windows.   Apparently, there may be a problem with running the update.pl script in the PO directory.
    §   Just a note for might-be AbiTranslators, it's easiest and least error free to translate a strings file, then convert that to .po.

Traffic on the  user mailing list is sporadic at best.   Often, a good topic comes up, but users tend to only respond to the original poster rather than the list (as well), which limits what I would add, as the only lone threads I post are announcements of importance or points of great interest, e.g. solutions to problems in a preceeding thread..   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Error message when installing on Win95 :
    →   Successfully installing AbiWord on an “untouched” Win95 (and I do think 98) system, you will need to grab a dll or two from Jeremy's site before you are likely to succeed.   At a minimum, he recommends msvcrt.dll.
    §   Someday, Jeremy may even update his site ;o)


CVS Stats

      Track who put in how much and why.   And, while you're at it, consider whether you'd like to keep your own cvs build as well.   Textboxes...ooh....

CVS checkins for HEAD from November 9th to November 15th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Tomas Frydrych 46 document iterator, remove extra width subtraction, added error checking mechanism, check for error conditions when using document iterator, improved interface for document iterator, make use of the UT_TextIterator class, implement new functions from UT_TextIterator, removal of getSpanPtr() calls, stop numbers on rulers from zooming, added comments for text iterator, removed getSpanPtr(), ligature fixes, remove get/setDoNotZoomText()
Win32:   fix sizing of GUI font

Martin Sevior 45 selection fixes for table container, fix off by 1 pixel bugs, fix screen dirt when printing, fix off by 1 bug in expose, make caret always appears as a double thickness line, fix clearing of tab run, make cusor revert to I-beam immediately after selection is cleared
TextBoxes:   rulers now work, speed up dragging by converting them to images, some crash bugs inserting tables, fix clear selection bug, enable image resizing again, enable tables
6015: Crash when setting bold/italics when no text is selected on third page.

Frank J. Franklin 42 missing static_cast in TableContainer
All:   update build system to install under AbiSuite-2.2 / AbiWord-2.2 / et c, Abi-2.2 binary build error (my fault, sorry)
5975: (probably)-- Psion plugin doesn't build

Hubert Figuiere 35 .
MacOS X:   images are flipped--better for drag and drop, fix a few asserts, scrolling fix, cursor handling fixes, cosmetic code change in Font Chooser dialogue, fix a warning in clipboard, fix warning in File Open Save-as dialogue, new icons, handle RTF too, fixed plist syntax error, fix last bits of scrolling, implement show/hides rulers with some issues, remove dead code, fix memory leak in drawChars, fix font problem in rulers (regression ?), fix mem leak, fix a mem leak in Font Chooser dialogue
BeOS:    fix build breakage if fribidi is installed in /boot/home/config/lib from Daniel Furrer,  replaced UT_uint16 with UT_UCS4Char from Daniel Furrer
All:   abi/src/text/fmt/xp/fp_TextRun.cpp
Project Builder:   remove absolute path reference, new files, removed .xpm and other unused files
Doxygen:   handles .mm files

Dom Lachowicz 24 .
AbiCapi:   PD_Document work, actually export these functions (on win32), more complete coverage for XAP_App, buncha abicapi frame work, assure C linkage to exported fns, start of FV_View, lots more view work

Nadav Rotem   8 .
Open Text Summarizer:   dic.xml should only hold IDF as TF comes from our document, IDF loads from dic.xml, tf will be calculated from the doc by normalizing the term count by the word count, added ots_tf_word_score (const double tf,const double idf), ots_calc_idf (const int term_count,const int word_count) [ed. Nadav's losing it], touched synonyms, indent, looked into acronyms, variant spellings [ed. Nadav, maybe split dictionaries into ISO coding like AbiTranslations?]

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra   3 .
Open Text Summarizer:   update do ots built files
rpm:   fix spec (also due to libabicapi), commit (I forgot, sorry) abiword.desktop

Marc Maurer   2 forwardport: barbarism fixes (jordi)
Win32:   evert EOL fixes (on jordi's request)

CVS checkins for STABLE from November 9th to November 15th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Marc Maurer   6 more scrolling fixes from Martin Sevior,  fix clear selection bug from Martin Sevior
5269: (related BiDi fixes)--  entry of space blanks a line of display in bidi (5126)

Hubert Figuiere   1 .
6015: (from Martin Sevior)-- Crash when setting bold/italics when no text is selected on third page.

Frank J. Franklin   1 .
5975: (probably)-- Psion plugin doesn't build


      It's happening...right after the bug thing....

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +13 (14 : 1), VeriNew -3 (2 : 5), ClosAssi -2 (0 : 2),

      A sad week for the markets, with only ResoUnconf in the positive.   Louis Bugkeyser noted that this is simply the process of cycles, and with prep work for 2.1-2.2, it is certainly going to change.   Alan Bluespan, however restated his theory that this slow period will continue until 2.1.0 has been released.

      For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.

Bug Votes

      These are the week's Top 20 Bugs in the categories  problems and  requests for enhancements.   Influence next week's results by  casting your own votes.   Ah, another release, another change of what bugs are on the "Most Wanted" list.

Top 20 MisFeatures™ as of November 16th, 2003
ID Votes Milestone Summary
 376  82 2.0.x File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
3778  46 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
5815  35 --- Variable-width font issue
4745  31 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
5059  31 2.2 Recent Files breaks with international file names
6011  31 --- Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......
2362  30 2.2 AbiWord only prints across half of page
4031  30 Future Hebrew status line message is not displayed correctly
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
5252  30 2.2 Contrast between cursor (caret) and background is ruined ......
5794  30 --- Horizontal space and distortion at print page break in We......
2868  25 2.0.x character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
4020  25 --- UTF8 strings not shown in list of spelling alternatives
2421  23 2.0.x TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
4733  20 --- File paths with ampersands kill preferences
6044  20 --- Text size on printout is too small (but readable)
1679  17 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 2.2 [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 Future Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of November 16th, 2003
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 455 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
2321 145 2.2 [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
3668 136 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
4038 136 --- Outline View Support
2490 126 2.2 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1950 121 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 108 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2565  82 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
4057  70 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
1144  68 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
1929  50 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2365  43 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
 515  41 2.0.x columns change should only affect selected text
2164  36 2.2 Ability to set default print command anywhere
1851  31 Future [rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering
3233  23 2.0.x New Language preference menu

      A bit of shuffling around again.   The latest misfeature of interest is a funny Win32 printing bug 6044, Text size on printout is too small (but readable).   Enhancements just got a little less enhanced, as 2366, implement floating frame, has obviously been completed by Martin for the 2.1-2.2 version series, so keep an eye out for that.   New to the list is 3233, New Language preference menu, which, in theory, will probably be dispatched quickly, as it's listed for 2.0.x   Also listed in the 2.0.x time range is the nearly antique 515, columns change should only affect selected text.   I'm sure we're all looking forward to these enhancements.

      Speaking of antiquated numbers, that reminds of one of some of the bugs also in the 2.0.x time range.   I'm speaking of the long standing (and with 82 votes) 376, File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu....   Other bugs, err, MisFeature™ to be completed in the version series are 2868, character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts..., and 2421, TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols....   Good times ahead.

Release HackDown

      To return the moment there's a meta bug for (I'm assuming) 2.0.2 or otherwise 2.2.0.   In the meantime, Dom has a thingy for 2.2.

Abi's Relatives

      Several projects are used by, use or synchronise with AbiWord.   Some of the most noteworthy libraries and applications will be summarised here.   Some may be added under guise of the GNOME Office Suite.; others may be added because it's really just a plug by request.   Want your project plugged?   Send money to Dom.   I'm offering rates of $10 per plug, $25 for a month-long plug, $50 for a quartly plug and $200 to go all year.   P*ing us off or the discontinuation of this section does not result in a refund.


      AbiWord uses several libraries, and other sub-applications, to give it that extra bit of polish.   Here, you will learn whatever news I scrape together or has been sent to me in relation to them.   I wanted to do more this week, but not so much.

Open Text Summarizer

      Besides what's listed in the CVS summaries for Nadav, there are some interesting considerations that may play out in the future.   Most interestingly, there's the categorising of terms, creating individual dictionaries under each language, such as en.nature.xml, en.novels.xml, en.science.xml, en.funky-jazz-music.xml, en.pr0n.xml and en.pamela.xml.   Also, synonmns, acronymns and variant spelling-mns might also to come into play with the next version of OTS.


      A new relative release for Windows users, the wpd3sxw command line tool used to change Word Perfect files into Open Office files is now available on the download page.   All this is much thanks to Fridrich Strba.   It's currently capable of handling WordPerfect 6/7/8/9/10.

      Additionally, integrated Open Office filters are coming soon for both Windows and Linux.


      Not a diddly-darn thing.


      Enchant is so great, there's just nothing to fix anymore, unless someone want to add a new dictionary to support.


      AbiWord is crucial to the use of or coordinates with a number of full blown applications.   Ok, I only know of, like, two.   Well, there was that screen play thing, but that went straight out the window.   And there was AbiMoz, but some other application has taken its place.   I'm sure, once AbiWord 2.0 is seen to all, there will be more to see.   Screw the Ant, it's AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom!!!

GNOME Office Suite

      Since I don't know of applications outside of AbiWord that use AbiWord, I'll be doing this Gnome Office business.   These people should have newsletters, so, I can steal crap from them.


      This very coming weekend, when AbiWord will be releasing 2.1.0 and possibly 2.0.2 (by current plan), Gnumeric may be releasing 1.2.2, with intent on squashing one more bug (when isn't it just one more bug!?).   When 1.2.2 is released, the tree will probably be branched for 1.3!   And, much of that thanks goes to Morten.   In the meantime, when 1.2.2 comes out, it will have plot level configuration of default styles, fewer theming issues and the user can now select auto marker shapes, auto patterns and auto colours.   I guess Jody really is anxious to start on some new toy because it appears that the autobots have paid a lot of money for Jody's programming time; perhaps it'll go to a baby sitter when a tagging needs to be done ;o)


      Nothing yet, but Rodrigo's been to some pretty sweet places.


      Last call for Criawips!   Anyone still want it, or will we have an AbiShow here?


      Dave Malcolm has added support for translations of an element, which, by now, should be upto using the xml:lang standard.   This will allow you to translate terminology of an element.   Additionally, I've read that submenus and even a news section have been added to the site by Jeff Martin.   This appears to be on a secret that no one has outside of the inner circle has ever seen because lord knows how much I'd love to steal stuff from a pre-existing news site.   Or someone could hold a gun to Dave's head and make him do a blog.k


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      I may get to that bug thing, but don't get your hopes up for a success.   I have solidified the CVS sorting thing (for now atleast), with corrections to the date.   Jesper wrote a note about how bonsai can be a real...pedantic about the date.   I think it makes total sense if you think about it, but if I should ever make the mistake of thinking, I'll lose the right to blame society for all my problems.

      I have removed Latest Releases, as I am no-longer its maintainer, at least, as far as I know.


      Frank has made HEAD parallel installable as 2.2.   That means, from this point forward, using a developers' build or tinderbox, the binary will be placed in itsown directory, saving you from worrying about replacing stable with unstable.   As a last minute development, I should inform you that 2.1.0 may not come out until later, or atleast, the MacOS X verion and certainly BeOS has quite a way to go, yet, as well.


      Thanks to some critical thinking skills from Randy, the books have been recently updated.   I think, after admitting how old my software is, Jody thought I was psychotic.   Good news is, thanks to Gedit, I changed the CSV to html in a couple of minutes, which my archaic gnumeric could handle.   This saves me lots of gut wrenching whining that I would otherwise would have to do to anyone in earshot ^_^

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: November 16th, 2003

      Approximately once a month, don't hedge bets, I'll get this updated by asking (read: whining at) dom.   In the meantime, whenever you want to see how much is in and where it gets diverted, just peek down here.

      Word of caution, numbers lightly fudged due to (hopefully) temporarily incomplete data.   Like a consultant's suggested price, you'll find hidden meaning in the data if you stare long and hard.   Surgeon's General's Warning:  Staring long and hard may have psychotropic affects; keep out of reach of people who like that sort of thing.

      I cannot promise the time of de-fudging, nor can I promise there will be de-fudging any time soon. However, I feel confident that there will be some de-fudging going on.

      Despite the last updated marker, these numbers are only accurate to something around the 19th.

Current Balance: $2809.18
Interest earned: $17.70

Expenditures: $2185
$210 to feed 12 people at GUADEC
$100 to pay for Marc's work on the new server
$700 to pay for the new server
$400 to pay for Martin's Boston Gnome Summit Trip
$400 to buy Andrew Dunbar a new computer
$ 60 to misc./entertainment expenses at GNOME summit, GUAD3C, other, paid out of dom's pocket
$225 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance (?)
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring
-   $ 45 Patrick Lam
-   $ 45 Dom Lachowicz
-   -   note: Pat and Dom went to an Italian restaurant named Dom's on Boston's North End.   Neither Pat or Dom seem to recommend visiting Dom's anytime soon.   Actually, I didn't ask Pat, but I'm pretty sure he'd agree.   Personally, I recommend avoiding Dom altogether.   Hmm, typo, what?

Unique contributors: 61*
paypal: 66
check :  3
cash  :  1
*61: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2975.20
Less paypal and other banking fees: $166.02

PLEASE!  Help promote AbiWord development by donating money. The money go to a general AbiWord "fund", presently hosted by Dom Lachowicz (cinamod@hotmail.com).
In order to donate money, you must have a PayPal account. If you do not already have one, the links above will allow you to open one. Please consider putting cinamod@hotmail.com in the "Referral ID" field, which results in a one-time $5 donation from PayPal to AbiWord development if you verify your account. Note that only donations of $3 or more are of interest. Sorry, this is due to the fees imposed by credit card companies and PayPal.